ROTARY CLUB OF VANCOUVER
Remembering our Veterans
Every November 11th, we honour those who fought for Canada in the First World War from 1914 to 1918, the Second World War from 1939 to 1945 and the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. More than 1,500,000 Canadians served overseas - more than 110,000 died. They gave their lives and their future so that we may live in peace.
These wars touched the lives of Canadians of all ages, all races, and all social classes. Fathers, sons, daughters, sweethearts were killed in action, were wounded, and many of those who returned were forever changed. Those who stayed in Canada also served - in factories, in voluntary service organizations, wherever they were needed.
In remembering their service and their sacrifice, we recognize the tradition of freedom they fought to preserve. These men and women had faith in the future and by their acts gave us the will to preserve peace for all time. On Remembrance Day, we acknowledge the courage and gallantry of those who served their country.
In the First World War, the Canadians' first major battle was later seen as one of the most crucial battles in history. At Ypres, April 22, 1915, as 145 tonnes of chlorine gas drifted over the trenches, the Canadian troops held and stopped the German advance. But the casualties here and at St. Julien were enormous - in 48 hours, one of every three Canadians was killed.
In April 1917, the Canadians helped turn the tide of battle when they won a major victory at Vimy Ridge however this triumph had its cost: more than ten thousand casualties in six days.
The armistice of November 11, 1918 brought relief to the whole world. It had truly been a world war. 65 million men from thirty nations bore arms in it; at least 10 million men were killed; 29 million more were wounded, captured or missing;
From a nation of eight million people a total of 620,000 men and women served in the Canadian forces in the First World War, and of these 67,000 gave their lives and another 173,000 were wounded.
During the Second World War Canadians fought valiantly on battlefronts around the world - in Hong Kong against the Japanese; in the attack upon Dieppe; in the conquest of Sicily, in the advance up the Italian peninsula and on June 6, 1944, in the front lines of the Allied forces that landed on the coast of Normandy.
In the six years of conflict Canada had enlisted more than one million men and women in her armed forces. Of these, more than 45,000 gave their lives in the cause of peace and freedom.
With scarcely a rest from war, Canadian soldiers were again organized in 1950 to uphold the ideals of the United Nations Organization against aggression by North Korean forces. By 1951, they were also at war with the People's Republic of China. In Korea, the Canadians were participants at Kapyong, at Chail-li, in the advance across the Imjin River, and in the patrolling of the Chorwon Plain.
Altogether 27,000 Canadians served in the Korean conflict, and another 7,000 served in the theatre between the cease-fire and the end of 1955. During the 3 years of hostilities, there were 1,600 Canadian casualties.
We should take a moment to honour the Rotarians and the parents of Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Vancouver who served during the time of these conflicts.
John Hoyle – John was a Pilot in the RCAF obtaining his wings in Centralia, Ontario. He was posted overseas in 1944 to #434 RCAF Squadron at Croft in Yorkshire, England. With the war ending in Europe he volunteered for far east duty and helped bring all the aircraft back to Dartmouth, N.S. Then with the end of hostilities in Japan in Aug, John obtained his discharge at Moncton, N.B. on Aug. 29 and was back at U. of T. in Sept.
Doug Russell – In 1942 at the age of 18, Doug joined the RCAF – he was a flying instructor in Brandon, Man – a member of the 1st fighter squadron in Canada – and reached the Rank of Flying Officer.
Jack Campbell – Jack joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1941, he was posted to the Corvette, HMCS Sudbury and served in both the Atlantic and Pacific. He also served aboard the Minesweeper Outarde and the Frigates, St. Stevens and Longueuil. Jack attained the rank of Lt. Commander in the Canadian Navy
John Hayto – John’s Dad Marcel Hayto, escaped from Krakow the day before the city was taken by the German army. He subsequently walked 300 kms to board a train to Spain then on to England. He was a single strip soldier in charge of 12 men and 14 horses!! He was later a flight sergeant in the RAF just as the war was closing. He saw some serious fighting at the "Magineau Line", the main front between France and Germany in 1940.
Jim Evans - His father, Norman Marshal Evans, served with the RCAF, first with Western Command in Victoria, then at Jericho in Vancouver and finished at the Edmonton Air Force Base. He was discharged in March, 1946.
John Pearkes – John’s father, Maj - Gen George R. Pearkes VC, DSO, MC served in both WW1 & WW2.
Craig Beliveau – Craig’s father, Albert, served in the Signal Corps & his mother, Muriel, served in Ottawa as an attaché.
Gillian Eades-Telford – Gillian’s father, James Edwin Eades (Eddie) retired as a major in 1949 from the militia - army reserve 39th FD (R) 201 Battery. He was also a member of the Vancouver Rotary Club. Gillian’s son in law William (Bill) Dymond is currently a Petty Officer in the navy and stationed in Golan, Israel on peacekeeping assignment for the UN.
Stephanie Lawton – Stephanie’s father, Kenneth P. Lawton Q.C. served in the 2nd world war with the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Saint John N.B. and Cape Breton. After the war, he went to Germany with the Allied Military Government as a judge to restore order from 1945 to 1946.
Donald Mackinnon – Don’s father, Dr. Gordon Mackinnon, was a member of the Canadian Army Medical Corps, serving in Sicily, Italy and Northwest Europe in WWII. Don’s family has a distinguished history of service in the Canadian Armed Forces:
WORLD WAR I
Grandfather, Rev. Clarence Mackinnon, Chaplin in the Canadian Army, served in France 1915-1918. Rev. Clarence Mackinnon joined the Halifax N.S. Rotary Club in 1913.
Uncle, Ian Mackinnon, Canadian Artillery, McGill Battery, served in France 1916-1918
Uncle, Alistair Mackinnon, Canadian Army Officer Training in 1918
Grand Uncle, Everet Wentzel, Royal Canadian Regiment, Killed at Paschendale Nov 1917 at the age of 20
WORLD WAR II
Uncle, Dr. Ian MacDonald, Canadian Army Medical Corps, Northwest Europe
Uncle, Dr. Paul Nonnamaker, R C A F (medical), Northwest Europe and Middle East
Uncle, Ted Shaw, R C A F, Tail gunner on a Lancaster, wounded and invalided out in 1944. His brother Stuart Shaw, a Spitfire Pilot, was killed.
Uncle, Bill Kelley, West Nova Scotia Regiment, Left home September 1939 and did not return until October 1945. Served in Sicily, Italy and Northwest Europe.
Sister, Dr. Heather Mackinnon is serving in the Royal Canadian Navy - 1989-2003
As Canadians we often take for granted our current way of life, our freedom to participate in cultural and political events, and our right to live under a government of our choice. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms in our constitution ensures that all Canadians enjoy protection under the law. The Canadians who went off to war in distant lands went in the belief that such rights and freedoms were being threatened. They truly believed that "Without freedom there can be no ensuring peace and without peace there can be no enduring freedom."
Listen to Terry Kelly's tribute to our Veterans: A Pittance in Time
Listen to an excerpt from Linda Jones' tribute to our Veterans at http://www.lindajones.ca/songs.htm
May We Never Forget.